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September 24 2013

The Gender Gap Goes to Virginia

Charlotte Hays

The Richmond Times-Dispatch on Sunday ran an editorial calling Terry McAuliffe, the Clintonworld candidate for governor of Virginia, “unserious.”

The Times-Dispatch hasn’t yet endorsed a gubernatorial candidate, but the editorial noted:

Back in March, the Virginian-Pilot reported that “in a recent interview, McAuliffe wouldn't give specific responses when asked about technical aspects of legislative and governor's office operations. Asked if he could name the positions in the governor's Cabinet, for instance, McAuliffe said: ‘Maybe could, maybe couldn’t. That's not what I’m going to do here today because that's not what I’m talking about.” The Pilot later endorsed him. …

Democratic big shots were left fuming recently by a Northern Virginia business council’s endorsement of the GOP nominee, Ken Cuccinelli. The backing of the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Tech PAC was McAuliffe’s to lose – and by an account in The Washington Post, he lost it: “Cuccinelli had detailed responses to questions in candidate interviews, three board members said, while McAuliffe was uninformed and superficial. . . . ‘Terry was his normal, flamboyant self,’ said a board member present for both interviews. ‘He didn’t want to get pinned down to any details. He didn’t give any details. He was all about jobs, jobs, jobs — “I’m just going to take care of the situation when the time comes. I’m just going to do it.” It was all [expletive].’ Cuccinelli, by contrast, the person said, ‘was precise. He was thoughtful. He thought through all the issues. He had a clear position on all those issues, and he didn’t agree with the council on all the issues.’ ”

McAuliffe has declined to give his opinion on EPA regulations that could harm the coal industry, which is an important job-creator in Virginia. He is a businessman who has benefited mightily from government-backed green tech projects.

But there is one big group of voters who apparently don't buy the negatives presented in the Times-Dispatch editorial: women voters.

The Washington Post this morning reports that McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli in polls because of the women’s vote.

McAuliffe leads 47 percent to Cuccinelli’s 39 percent. Cuccinelli had a ten-point lead in the spring. The Post reports:

The shift in the race has come almost exclusively from female voters, who prefer McAuliffe by a 24-point margin over Cuccinelli. The candidates were effectively tied among women in a Washington Post poll in May.

McAuliffe’s strength among women is probably due in part to an intense campaign to portray Cuccinelli as a threat to women and the issues they care about most deeply. A new McAuliffe ad, for instance, features a Norfolk OB-GYN speaking directly to the camera about how she is “offended” by Cuccinelli’s position on abortion.

If Terry McAuliffe becomes governor of Virginia, his victory will likely be built on the same gender gap that gave President Obama a second term. Discuss among yourselves.

Hat tip to Hot Air.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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